SF’s damaged transit center closed for weeks — park could reopen sooner

: sfchronicle – excerpt

Buses won’t return to the damaged Transbay Transit Center until its broken girders are repaired — a process that could take at least several weeks. The rooftop park, however, could reopen sooner, officials said Tuesday.

At a special meeting of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, Executive Director Mark Zabaneh said the agency should know by Nov. 1 what caused two large support beams to crack

But resuming bus service will have to wait until the permanent fix is completed, Zabaneh said. While the temporary bracing could support the weight of people on the park plus buses on the deck, he said, Transbay officials prefer to be cautious.

Construction crews will also be on the bus deck working, which would make it difficult, and possibly dangerous, for drivers… (more)

SFMTA already specializes in creating gridlock in the “East Cut”. What we really needs is an expensive park with no view to draw in the tourists. I think I’ll pass on the offer. Maybe they should turn it into a fake earthquake experience ride to prepare us for the real one. Sell t-shirts that say, “I survived the Transbay Terminal.” or “I Rode the Trasnbay Wave”.  Make it a teaching moment.

RELATED:

Responsibility for Salesforce Transit Center fix remains an open question

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

Just who will pay to fix cracked steel beams at the Salesforce Transit Center is still an open question, but the cost won’t be covered by a contingency fund set aside for construction errors and fixes, officials said at a City Hall meeting Tuesday.

Dennis Turchon, senior construction manager at the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, said at an authority meeting Tuesday that determining who is financially responsible for the needed fixes will have to wait until a cause is determined.

“The focus,” Tuchon is first and foremost on fixing the transit center, he told reporters… (more)

Keep LA Moving

keeplamoving – excerpt

Masonic traffic b 081713

Photo of traffic stuck on Masonic before the road diet. These scenes are being repeated all oer the state of California. LA citizens are fighting back.

It’s official! KeepLAMoving has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court against the City of Los Angeles.

Our 53 page petiton alleges that the City did not follow proper CEQA procedure, denying residents their due process before the project commenced. It’s Court Case No. BS 170 464. Click here to see it. 

The Neighborhood Council of Westchster/Playa voted to send Mike Bonin a letter opposing the road diets on Culver and Jefferson. Click here to read it.

Gridlock Is Not The Answer

Employers warned to offer commuter benefit to workers in Bay Area

By Denis Cuff : eastbaytimes – excerpt

80 Shuttle buses staging on 24th street twice a day idling, spewing out toxic air and running loud engines for air-conditioners are not tenable for residents on the narrow residential neighborhood. This is not a green commuter solution.

An air pollution rule requires large Bay Area employers to offer incentives or pre-tax benefits to workers to take van pools, car pools, public transit, or bicycles to work.

Air pollution regulators are warning thousands of Bay Area employers they could be fined for failing to comply with a rule requiring them to offer a commuter benefit to employees who get to work via van pool, bus, train or bike.

Under the 2014 rule made permanent last year, employers with 50 or more full-time workers must offer them a benefit encouraging commute methods that reduce gridlock and air pollution.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has estimated that about 8,000 employers are covered by the rule, but only about 4,200 have registered with the air district and demonstrated they offered a benefit, officials said Tuesday…

The benefit can save employees several hundred dollars a year, as well as lower payroll taxes for employers, according to the air district and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Continued noncompliance could result in companies being cited and fined, said Tom Flannigan, an air district spokesman.

“Our first option will be working with companies to get them to comply,” he said, “but companies at some point could be cited for violations just like businesses that pollute.”

Companies can register at 511.org, and find more out more information about it at http://511.org/employers/commuter/news... (more)

REPEAL THIS LAW – “Employers also can offer workers a free or subsidized bus or shuttle service such as buses offered to Google workers.”

 

Does this look like the source of the problem we are having with commuter shuttles to anyone else?

It is time to fix the shuttle bus problem by repealing this law or re-writing the rules to allow for more local control over the shuttle option. If the point of this program is to clean the air, and the idling shuttle buses are adding to the problem, this is not the solution to the clean air problem.

Nearly three decades after Loma Prieta earthquake, Folsom Street sees new life

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake wreaked havoc throughout the Bay Area.

But nearly 27 years later, one part of its legacy — the removal of a controversial freeway — may finally lead to the revitalization of Folsom Street.

Part of Folsom Street runs in the shadow of what was once the Embarcadero Freeway, which was torn down after a bitter public battle ended in the 1989 earthquake that rendered the freeway unsafe.

Down came the freeway. But, now, Folsom Street will rise.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on Tuesday approved a series of bike and pedestrian changes to Folsom Street, a key approval in a project that aims to transform the roadway into a hub of nightlife and walkability by early 2018…(more)

Which universe do these people live in? Take a look at the photo at the top of the page and tell me what is wrong with the story. This is a major construction zone. No sidewalk work and no road work will make this safe for pedestrians until the construction is complete.
Why is the SFMTA or DPW or whoever is responsible for scheduling work on Folsom starting a sidewalk or street project before the big construction projects are complete?
I walked past a rather small construction project on 17th Street today and was forced to walk into the street to get around the site and the rather large truck parked next to the site.
How is working on streets or sidewalks in front large construction projects under way on Folsom a good idea or a safe way to proceed?
Folsom Street is a major arterial that connects the Embarcadero with Cesar Chavez. There is a Fire Station at Folsom and 19th Street and two hospitals nearby. All this gridlock in a construction zone will make access for emergency vehicles very difficult, if not impossible.
Enough of this gridlock. Let’s pass Prop L so we can demand the SFMTA limit itself to one large project at a time instead of three or four. stopsfmta.com
And do not give them any more sales tax dollars. No on Prop K!

TAKE BACK OUR STREETS!

Continue reading

CA: Marin Lawmaker Wants End to MTC, Regional Transportation Planning Agency

By MARK PRADO : masstransitmag – excerpt

Sept. 24–Marin Assemblyman Marc Levine has introduced a bill to eliminate a powerful regional commission, saying it’s not accountable to the public and has been largely ineffective in improving traffic.

Levine, D-San Rafael, this week introduced legislation that would do away with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and its sister agency, the Bay Area Toll Authority. The commission is the Bay Area’s transportation planning agency, while the authority oversees seven state-run bridges.

In their place a new Bay Area Transportation Commission would be created. Unlike the Metropolitan Transportation Commission — created by the state Legislature in 1970 — whose members are appointed, the new commission would be elected, under Levine’s bill.

Levine said the change would benefit commuters in Marin and around the Bay Area. “Our traffic is some of the worst in the nation. We need a transportation commission that will put their energies into eliminating traffic gridlock,” Levine said in a statement. “The new Bay Area Transportation Commission will be responsive and accountable to our communities’ needs rather than operate as an appointed board. … This commission will provide the transparency and accountability that Bay Area commuters need and deserve.”… (more)

Let Marin Assemblyman Marc Levine know how you feel. And let your representatives in Sacramento know as well. Phil Ting seems to be of like mind of this matter.

Bay Area Traffic Congestion Is Worse Than Anywhere in U.S. Except L.A.

San Francisco has the second-worst congestion in the United States, according to a new report. On average, a driver here with a 30-minute commute spent 83 hours stuck in traffic in 2013. Only Los Angeles is more arterially clogged.

Tom Tom, a firm based in Amsterdam that sells GPS-based navigation and mapping products, released its fourth annual traffic index on Wednesday. The survey looked at congestion levels on highways, freeways, local roads and city streets.

The index compared travel times during non-congested, or free flow, times with travel times in peak hours. For San Francisco, the congestion level of 32 percent means that, on average, a driver in San Francisco experienced 32 percent extra travel time on an average trip compared with non-congested situations at the quietest times of day. The delay per hour for a driver in a peak period was 34 minutes.

The numbers translate into lots of wasted time, motorist bile, air pollution and probably higher blood pressure.

“As the economy gets better, as more people are working, as more people have more discretionary spending, they drive a lot more,” said Michael Cabanatuan, who covers transportation for the San Francisco Chronicle, on KQED Forum Wednesday…

San Francisco, which moved up from third place in 2012, registered 48 percent congestion in the morning peak and 66 percent in evening rush hour. The single most congested day of the year was Nov. 22, 2013. Nobody knows why, although that day was the Friday before Thanksgiving week began, which is typically a chaotic period, with lots of comings and goings…. (more)

When are the citizens of San Francisco going to realize that the SFMTA is not to be trusted to fix the problem they created? Removing parking is a huge contributor to the gridlock. We need oversight and accountability and you can insist on this by signing this petition and voicing your concerns in the comments to the recipients:
Restore Parking Oversight of SFMTA

 

Proposed CEQA changes could push development to disincentivize car use AirTalk | December 4th, 2014, 10:58am

airtalk : scpr – excerpt

A change to the formula used under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) could have a large impact on development throughout the state. Currently, the CEQA process views projects as having a negative environmental impact if they slow traffic. The proposed changes would change the perspective from one focusing on stemming traffic to one with an eye towards decreasing the amount of cars on the road and the temporal length of transportation.

If the proposed changes become final, the slight difference in priorities may change the way developers treat the city and suburbs. Whereas previous attempts under the act expanded car lanes and synchronized streetlights in order to lessen traffic, new attempts would discourage suburban sprawl and instead incentivize options for alternative transport. Those who bike and use mass transit may benefit from the proposed regulatory process, and supporters of green development are supporting the changes with the belief that it will lower greenhouse emissions. Yet for drivers who already have long commutes, driving through the city could become more onerous.

How should the state of California regulate development under CEQA? Do you think your commute could be affected if the development process changes?.. (more)

Thank you for expressing so clearly the objectives of the SFMTA to slow traffic and snarl it. We just had an election in SF where the SFMTA claimed the cars were causing the congestion. Now you have helped us prove that they are causing it on purpose. Thanks once again for proving us right and exposing the SFMTA’s lies, and explaining how the state is s*****g drivers.

We claimed the SFMTA is using taxpayer dollars that should be used to enhance MUNI to harass drivers and your statements support our claims. – ENUF, SaveMuni, Yes on L, No on A and B campaigns.

SFMTA approves parking, traffic for Van Ness BRT

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

he Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit project moved a step forward after transit officials Tuesday approved the necessary parking and traffic changes along Van Ness Avenue to accommodate the $125 million bus rapid transit system.

The changes unanimously approved by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s directors Tuesday include restricting most left turns on Van Ness Avenue and removing parking spaces where the agency plans to put center bus boarding platforms…

Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit Stations

  • Market Street
  • McAllister Street
  • Eddy Street
  • Geary Boulevard
  • Sutter Street
  • Sacramento Street
  • Jackson Street
  • Vallejo Street
  • Union Street … (more)

Rapid Bus Lanes Coming To San Francisco’s Van Ness Ave.; Expect Less Parking Space

By Barbara Taylor : cbslocal – excerpt

AN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The plan for San Francisco’s first Bus Rapid Transit project is moving forward. San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA) board of directors has approved major changes that will eliminate traffic lanes and parking along busy Van Ness Avenue in an effort to make the thoroughfare more efficient…

The construction is set to begin in winter 2015 and should take two years to complete with the changes expected to go into effect in 2018… (more)

“The construction is set to begin in winter 2015 and should take two  years to complete with the changes expected to go into effect in 2018.”
You know this is a lie. The changes will take effect the minute construction begins.

Concerns raised over BRT lanes on San Francisco’s Van Ness Avenue